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An in-depth investigation of social problem-solving ability

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An in-depth investigation of social problem-solving ability

Robichaud, Melisa (2005) An in-depth investigation of social problem-solving ability. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Social problem solving, the resolution of daily life problematic situations with no readily available solution, is comprised of a series of skills that includes problem solving proper and one's general orientation towards problem solving. Researchers have contended that poor problem-solving ability is a necessary and sufficient condition for developing a psychological disorder. Despite the importance of the construct, current assessment tools have yielded inconsistent and at times contradictory results. The goal of the present research was to develop novel assessment techniques for the measurement of social problem solving. In the first study, a new questionnaire for the assessment of negative problem orientation was translated from French and validated. Results revealed that the Negative Problem Orientation Questionnaire (NPOQ) was unifactorial, had excellent internal consistency, good test-retest reliability at 5 weeks, and demonstrated convergent and discriminant validity ( N = 201). In the second study, the construct validity of the NPOQ was investigated by assessing the relationship between the NPOQ and measures of distress after controlling for conceptually similar personality variables. The measure continued to predict worry and depression scores when entered in the last step of multiple hierarchical regressions ( N = 148). Moreover, the NPOQ displayed greater specificity to worry (5.6% of the variance) than to depression (1.6%). Results suggested that negative problem orientation reflects a specific negative predisposition towards problem solving among worriers, compared to a by-product of a general negative thinking style in depression. In the third study, a novel problem-solving interview was developed to measure performance on six problem-solving steps. Participants completed the interview for a hypothetical and a personal problem, and were separated into two groups according to intolerance of uncertainty levels, a cognitive predisposition linked to worry ( N = 62). Results revealed that among high intolerance of uncertainty participants, anxiety was related to poor performance on initial stages of problem solving, whereas depression was associated with poor performance on later more elaborative stages. These findings emerged only for the personally-relevant problem, and among individuals high in intolerance of uncertainty, suggesting the context-dependent nature of problem solving as well as the role of threat appraisals on constructive coping

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Robichaud, Melisa
Pagination:xii, 169 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Psychology
Date:2005
Thesis Supervisor(s):Dugas, Michel
ID Code:8776
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:35
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 15:11
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